I’ve been traveling A LOT for the Class of 2020 senior portraits and Beach sessions and that means lots of alone time and time to think and process. The other day, I was listening to a podcast (please send me some of your favorites) and the host asked the guest, “what are your 10 best decisions you have made?” It really got me thinking about mine as a photographer and business owner and I thought I’d share, and that maybe they would help you or at least provide some enjoyment 🙂
- To open my brick and mortar storefront! Now, that may not be the best decision for everyone, and in fact, I typically suggest that you don’t if you don’t have to (who wants that overhead) and I write more about that process and the pros and cons here, but for me, it was a top 10 decision.
- To take my time to decide who I was going to be as a photographer, my genre! We hear all the time, you need to niche down, and while I agree, it helps tremendously to know who you are marketing to and it makes you more competent in a specific area, by taking my time to figure that out, I feel I’ve truly fallen into who I was meant to be and created to be as a photographer. Why is that important? No burnout!
- Owning up to my failures! I have failed many times, and in a few cases HUGE!! like very public failure, but you know what, I had two choices, I could run and hide (which I felt like doing many times) I could have quit (which I also wanted to do) or I could learn and grow. By the grace of God, I chose the latter and my business flourished! When you are in business, you WILL fail, but it’s okay…use it to GROW!
- Valuing my work: From the get-go, I got some very great advice about value and photography. Over 10 years ago, I realized that what I’m doing is a business, not a hobby and I needed to be able to make a living at it. (I can go on and on here…and that is another post) but I value what I do.
- Giving Back: There are times in the year that we give back…it’s been as small as collecting supplies for hurricane victims to our Mother/Child project to scholarship sessions. This business is about so much more, I don’t want to miss what God has me doing because I’ve been so focused on success. I get reminded day in and day out why photos are so important and I’m thankful, I’m in a place where I give some that back!
- Educating: It’s definitely a passion of mine, it’s the part of my business that we are growing and I am so thankful that I followed the urge to start educating and mentoring! There’s a lot more of this coming down the road and I’m super excited about it!
- Focusing on Relationships: I didn’t realize this until this winter, but my business is entirely focused on the relationships I have with my clients. I view it as one big family and I care deeply about my clients. I love that I see them on a daily basis and know them far more than just a photo session.
- Establishing very defined policies and procedures; This is so important so that both us (our studio) and our clients are all on the same page and expectations are met from the very beginning! It helps to make things run so much smoother.
- Product and Experience Based: Along with relationships, I value beautiful products and an elevated experience! Its a lot of work, but it was a decision that I made years ago and has been the best!
- Continuing Education: There is so much to learn, both in my skill (photography) and business and I have always invested in learning to better myself and my business and thus the product and experience I can offer!
So there you have it, my 10 best decisions!
I had the amazing opportunity to photograph this GORGEOUS girl for her senior pictures! I loved every minute of working with sweet Josie! She’s is the best, both of my kids will attest that she’s nothing short a beautiful person inside and out and her smile is contagious! She just graduated from The Burlington School and is off to Sweet Briar to study Equine Studies. Naturally, we incorporated her riding into her session! Thank you to Adrianne from The Loft Styling Studio for her work on hair and makeup! Josie, I’m so proud of you! You are beautiful and I can’t wait to see what this year holds for you!
If you want to learn more about our Senior Experience Click here!